- Health system leaders joined forces Tuesday in trying to sway Senate Finance Committee members to repeal or revamp the anti-kickback law for impeding value-based care initiatives, Modern Healthcare reported.
- Opponents to the law argued by prohibiting physicians from referring Medicare patients to other healthcare entities with whom they have financial relationships, the law thwarts providers' ability to do as lawmakers are asking them and pursue avenues to a modernized value-based care system.
- The Senate committee hearing followed a recent Congressional white paper that raised the issue of the Stark law, calling it “a minefield" for the industry.
As it stands, the language of the Stark law presents multiple issues that need to be addressed either through repeal or expanded exceptions or waivers, stakeholders argued. These include the fair market value requirement, which precludes some innovative payment arrangements, and the language that disallows hospitals from paying providers more or less based on their quality measures.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch indicated the committee would take action on the matter within the year. "We have a responsibility to explore potential changes to make the law more workable in terms of enforcement and compliance in both fee-for-service and value-based payment models," he was quoted by Politico's Morning eHealth.
While the hearing didn't specifically discuss EHRs, the matter of the Stark law is entwined with eHealth because the law's limiting influence impacts not just healthcare and payment arrangements, but integration overall, Politico suggested.